#EdibleFacts: Kale

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It’s January, which means we’ve started yet another new year! For most of us that means making a fresh start with some sort of commitment to better ourselves. And while that task can often seem overwhelming, at Edible Arrangements® we believe that small adjustments, even just incorporating one new ingredient into your routine, can make a big difference. For many, kale is that one new ingredient that helps power their healthy lifestyle. To help, we’d like to share some kale facts and explore the power of kale!

The Power of Kale

Kale, it seems to be everywhere nowadays—doesn’t it? At first, it seemed to be a trend adopted only by celebrities, yoga instructors, and athletes. But over the past few years, kale has somehow integrated itself into almost every grocery store, smoothie shop, and restaurant menu.

The reason why this dark leafy green has risen in popularity is due to the multiple health benefits it provides. For example, did you know kale helps with all of the following things?

  • keep your brain healthy!
  • boosts your immune system!
  • aids in preventing certain cancers!
  • keeps hair and skin looking healthy!

This cruciferous vegetable provides these benefits because it contains high amounts vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. Tina Paymaster, a certified health and lifestyle coach, describes the impact of these vitamins:

“Vitamin K is important for heart health, blot clotting, bone health, cancer prevention and diabetes prevention. Additionally, Vitamin A helps support skin health and vision. Plus, Vitamin C is important for immune health and joint health, helps to keep the body hydrated and also increases your metabolism.”

5 Interesting Kale Facts

Many of us know about the health benefits, but there are so many other interesting kale facts! For example, the average person in the United States consumes 2-3 cups of kale every year.

  • Kale is inexpensive and easy to grow.

According to the National Kale Day movement, kale would make a great addition to your home garden.

“Kale is easy to grow and generally inexpensive. It’s one of the simplest crops for local farmers to grow, thriving in small plots of land and personal gardens.”

  • Kale comes in multiple varieties.

Many of us think kale is just kale. However, kale actually covers a wide range of varieties, which offer different tastes and even colors.

“[There are] many tastes and colors of the dozens of varieties of kale: lacinato, redbor, Gulag Stars, True Siberian, Red Russian, White Russian, Dwarf Blue Vates, Red Nagoya, Chinese Kale, Sea Kale and the six-foot tall Walking Stick Kale. Try to seek out a kale you have not yet tried.”

  • Kale is the old man on the block.

Although we typically think of the current trend as a kale fad, that is not the case at all. In fact, kale has been providing civilizations around the world with its amazing nutrients for thousands of years. WebMD shares the history of kale.

“Kale is popular now, but people have been growing this super food for more than 2,000 years. Popular in Europe during Roman times and the Middle Ages, it arrived in the U.S. in the 17th century.”

  • Kale derives from a Scottish word.

In previous parts of history, kale was previously referred to as peasant’s cabbage. However, because kale grows very well in cold, wet climates, such as Scotland, the plant now derives its name from Scottish heritage.

“The modern word “kale” came from a Scottish name for the plant, kail. The Scots started using the word “kailyard” to describe a small garden in the 14th century, and the term later came to be associated with a specific style of fiction about rural domestic life.”

  • Kale helps lose weight.

In addition to the health benefits and generous nutrients provided by the plant, kale also contains properties that help with weight loss. For example, Healthline explains how the plant helps manage weight based on its physical properties.

“Kale has several properties that make it a weight loss friendly food. It is very low in calories but still provides significant bulk that should help you feel full. Because of the low calorie and high water content, kale has a low energy density. Eating plenty of foods with a low energy density has been shown to aid weight loss in numerous studies. (Although there is no study directly testing the effects of kale on weight loss, it makes sense that it could be a useful addition to a weight loss diet.)”

Leverage the Benefits of Kale

Now even though you know there are a lot of great benefits associated with eating kale, the reality is that it’s one of the more bitter greens around. As a result, many people simply do not find the taste appealing. However, eating a large, raw kale salad isn’t the only way to incorporate this super green into your diet! Plus, we can incorporate kale into our diet without eating kale salad everyday.

So, if you’re new to the kale game, or hesitant to take the plunge, try one of these subtle options to take advantage of the great benefits while still enjoying something you find tasty:

  • Kale Chips

Roast them up the oven to make kale chips. It’s a great alternative to the traditional potato chip. They’ll provide you with a little salt, a little crunch, and none of the guilt. Here’s a great Coconut Sriracha Kale Chip recipe that we think is absolutely scrumptious!

Spicy Sweet Kale Chips

  • Incorporate into homestyle meals

Throw some kale into your hearty meals! Finely chop a little kale into your soups and dishes like this recipe for Creamy Kale Mac & Cheese. It’ll add a bit of color, texture, and make your meal way more nutritious.

Kale Mac & Cheese

Add a handful of chopped kale into a fruit smoothie. Try using pineapple, apples, and strawberries. The sweetness from the fruit will help balance out the bitterness of the kale, resulting in a delicious & healthy drink! You could make it yourself or stop by your local Edible Arrangements® store for a fresh treat!

Edible To Go®

So, for all you new to the world of kale—will you give it a try with one of these recipes? Go out, be adventurous! Share your kale facts and your discoveries with us because we’d love to hear how you’re kicking off your #FreshStart!

Sources: Body Mind Green, Healthy Line, Cancer Tutor